I just read an article in Newsweek Magazine (http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/20/patti-stanger-7-new-rules-for-the-first-date.html) about first-date errors. An expert who runs a matchmaking service said to avoid these errors:
1. Mentioning past romantic partners or anyone else of romantic interest to you.
2. Discussing religion or politics.
3. Describing your present or past problems.
4. Becoming drunk.
5. Talking dirty.
The psychology of these recommendations applies equally to job interviews! One way to think about first dates is that you want to convey a good and true image and you want to avoid disagreements. You also want to be interesting. In psychology terms, you want the other person to be reinforced (and not punished) by your presence. Dale Carnegie wrote long ago that the best companion is one who listens attentively. Looking and acting happy would also seem to fit the bill.
But let’s not forget about first-date errors. What errors have you seen? Committed?
Associate Professor of Psychology